- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 27, 2019

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Sunday demanded a briefing on the U.S. military strike that killed Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a raid in which President Trump said Congress leaders were intentionally left out of the loop.

“The House must be briefed on this raid, which the Russians but not top Congressional Leadership were notified of in advance, and on the Administration’s overall strategy in the region,” she said in a statement. “Our military and allies deserve strong, smart and strategic leadership from Washington.”

In announcing the major takedown in the fight against the Islamic State or ISIS, Mr. Trump singled out Mrs. Pelosi when saying congressional leaders couldn’t be trusted in the planning of the attack in Syria.

“Washington is a leaking machine,” the president said during the announcement earlier Sunday from the White House.

Mrs. Pelosi commended the U.S. military for carrying out the raid but did not mention Mr. Trump, who made killing al-Baghdadi a priority and gave the order for the strike.

“The death of al-Baghdadi is significant, but the death of this ISIS leader does not mean the death of ISIS. Scores of ISIS fighters remain under uncertain conditions in Syrian prisons, and countless others in the region and around the world remain intent on spreading their influence and committing acts of terror,” said Mrs. Pelosi.

Similar to comments by Democratic presidential hopeful and former Vice President Joseph R. Biden, she said Mr. Trump’s military policy in Syria had made ISIS potentially stronger.

Mr. Trump was harshly criticized from both sides of the aisle this month when he pulled out U.S. troops from the Turkey-Syria border, which allowed a Turkish military advance on U.S.-allied Kurdish forces in the region.

“This month, the House passed a joint resolution on an overwhelmingly bipartisan 354-60 basis which rejects President Trump’s green-lighting of Turkish aggression into Syria against our Kurdish partners, and calls on him to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS,” said Mrs. Pelosi.

• S.A. Miller can be reached at smiller@washingtontimes.com.

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